Atlantic preview here. Again, we are joined by the two official Waiting For Groza season preview correspondents, Agnew, the anthropomorphic eggplant that has lived in my fridge for the past three years, and Geoffrey St. Geoffrey, advance scout for the Providence Steam Rollers and Zollner Pistons.
Waiting For Groza: Last year, the Milwaukee Bucks rode Andrew Bogut and an excellent defense to a surprisingly successful season. After adding Maggette, Gooden, Larry Sanders, and Chris Douglas-Roberts, can this team build on last year's success?
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: I remember talking with Red [Auerbach] one time, and he confided, "Do you think Tommy [Heinsohn] was a great defender? How about Cooz? Ramsay? [Sam] Jones? A great defender in the pivot erases many mistakes." I still don't know what he was talking about.
Agnew: Agnew does not fear the deer! Agnew would eat the deer if Agnew had a mouth and a digestive system capable of processing venison! Agnew is never baffled, but cannot understand why Drew Gooden is on this team! Agnew would rather have Ilyasova, Mbah a Moute, and Larry Sanders, and prefers his backup centers to play defense while not sipping brandy from the skulls of their enemies!
Projected Record: 50-32, 3rd in East.
Waiting For Groza: Chicago added Carlos Boozer and several other members of the Jazz to build around Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng. This team should play defense, but it remains to be seen whether the new additions can stimulate an offense that was near the bottom of the league.
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: It is quite difficult to achieve victory when one cannot participate. That point was driven home to me when some representatives of Mr. Russo stopped by the arena one day to warn me that Dave had better "shape up" or else. That's when I learned how difficult it is to win if you cannot play, young man.
Agnew: Agnew sees a point guard that can't pass, a center that can't score, a power forward that can't stay healthy, and a shooting guard that can't create his own shot. And this team is supposed to be good? Agnew laughs at these futile hopes, which are more ridiculous than the circus which kicks the Bulls out of the United Center every year! Agnew will eat Chicago, and then will eat your city soon!
Projected Record: 45-37, 6th in East.
Waiting For Groza: Can a team built around Danny Granger, Darren Collison, and Roy Hibbert rise to mediocrity, or will the Pacers finish with a win total in the thirties for the fifth straight year?
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: Back in the thirties, I participated in an informal contest between New York collegians on break. The other team had two players who were rather bigger than anyone on our squad, and their offense consisted of throwing the ball off the backboard to themselves until it eventually fell through the hoop. Even my superior ballhandling skills could not prevent us from being trounced. Twas an unfortunate day.
Agnew: Agnew never sleeps! Except when the Pacers are around, because then Agnew knows he will not be threatened! Zzz!
Projected Record: 33-49, 10th in East.
Waiting For Groza: Now we come to the question everybody wants answered. How bad will the Cavs be without LeBron? I've seen answers ranging from mediocre to putrid. They have some promising players; Varejao, Sessions, Hickson, Mo Williams, but a lot of rebuilding to do.
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: Ah yes, the old "team losing a superstar" conundrum. Will they be a wounded tiger or a neutered tiger? And more importantly, why do I care?
Agnew: The howls of anguish emanating from Cleveland are music to the ears of Agnew, as are the howls of anguish and lamentations of the folk after Agnew lays waste to another village! Agnew thinks this team will rise again to torment the Midwest, just not this year!
Projected Record: 28-54, 11th in East.
Waiting For Groza: Finally, we come to the Detroit Pistons.
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: I can't do this anymore. It's too depressing.
Waiting For Groza: What do you mean?
Geoffrey St. Geoffrey: I'm going to pretend this team doesn't exist anymore. It's less painful that way. You and Mr. Eggplant can continue.
Agnew: Agnew agrees. Agnew can't requisition the necessary spite for this team. Agnew kinda feels sorry for them. Agnew wants warm milk and cookies to make him feel better before eviscerating the Southeast like a defenseless kitten, which is also a good metaphor for the Pistons!
Projected Record: 19-63, 15th in East
Tune in next time as Agnew rejoins me in an attempt to preview the Southeast without the assistance of fictional nineteen fifties anecdotes. Same time, same channel!